Grooming can Save a Life!

One of my magnificent Kent’s Kanines Models was diagnosed with osteo-carcinoma two years ago. He is a beautiful Golden Retriever named Big Red and I know I’m not supposed to have “favorites” but, I must admit Big Red is one my most favorite clients. I grew up with a “Big Red”. A broad shouldered loving and affectionate Golden Retriever named Chipper, Sir Chipper of Kent (my last name) so Big Red holds a special place in my heart.

I do groom him every two weeks. He and his love interest (see pic below) run all over the woods, go to the beach and get pretty dirty. Since I do groom them regularly and know them like the back of my hand, every square inch of him, I was very concerned two years ago when I found a small mass, maybe the size of a small pecan on the lower part of his rear leg under the hock. I felt it and it was hard and that is not a location where I have ever seen a Lipoma. I knew what it was. When I groomed him two weeks previously, nothing was there. I do use a very powerful power blower so I can really see at the skin layer and I know it was not there two weeks earlier. I also trimmed that area with thinning shears for a neater clean look so I would have noticed it.

He was immediately brought to the vet where it was diagnosed to be cancer and he had to go to a canine orthopedist that specializes in the removal of such tumors. He then went to Davis Veterinary School/Clinic for radiation for 5 weeks. The radiation did affect his skin but, finally it healed completely. See the picture below of the healed wound.

Big Red is alive and well and has had a complete recovery. He is on the right in all the photos below. Very handsome.

This tumor was in a very odd place and not a place where one would look on a daily basis. It actually was hidden by his hair and found because my power blower pushes and separates the hair while drying so it was discovered. The bump (tumor) was very small at that point and without grooming regularly, I could see missing it for a long time. These tumors are virulent and often times the dog must suffer an amputation due to the fact that the tumor was not caught early.

Grooming, all phases of the process – brushing and combing prior to the bath, bathing, drying and then a final brushing and combing if done thoroughly and meticulously are all opportunities to find something that needs medical attention and save a life!

Grooming can be life saving!